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‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ Musical Hits Another Snag


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More bad news for "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," the $65 million Broadway production featuring songs by U2's Bono and the Edge: The musical's scheduled opening night of January 11th, 2011 will likely be postponed again as the cast and crew continue to iron out all those technical problems that infamously (and hilariously) plagued the first preview performance of "Spider-Man," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The "Spider-Man" problems have become so well-known that it's now a running gag on "Conan."

Everything from technical difficulties to a financial-related shutdown to its two original stars (Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming) dropping out have delayed the arrival of "Spider-Man" from its planned opening in April 2010 to January 2011, and now it seems as though fans will have to wait a little longer. One of the reasons why "Spider-Man" won't swing onto Broadway as scheduled is that actress Natalie Mendoza, who plays one of the show's key villains, continues to recover from a concussion she suffered after getting hit in the head by equipment while backstage; Mendoza finally returned to the production last night after two weeks on the sidelines.

There are still some kinks to work out on the show's high-flying wire stunts that propel the actors over the heads of the audience, or in the case of the preview performances, leave the actors hovering over the audience while the stage crew try to reel them back in. Those glitches are funny and understandable during the preview run, but when the show opens for real, they're completely unforgivable, like going to the movies and having the projector messing up mid-reel.

Despite all the technical problems and so-so reviews about the components of the show that are locked into place (U2's music, the storyline), there is some good news: The musical is currently selling tickets at a 98.2 percent capacity rate per show. Of the eight preview performances, three had to be canceled, but the five that did take the stage grossed roughly $920,000 altogether, good for $184,000 per performance. Considering the show cost $65 million to produce and has a weekly running cost of $1 million, it'll take approximately over a year's worth of shows (about 635 performances by our calculators) at 98.2 percent capacity rate to finally break even on this thing.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Broadway is desperate for another hit, as the last major musical to debut in the Big Apple was "Jersey Boys" in 2005. Fifteen shows have closed in the past year, and there's nothing on the horizon on the level of "Spider-Man." So for the sake of Broadway in general, it's imperative that "Spider-Man" work out its wire problems and launch already.

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